Article: The joy of WiP

by David

Hey, y'all,

this is a personal reflection on my joy of having a lot of miniature projects in
Work in Progress (WiP) status

Some goblins (15mm and 28mm) patiently waiting to receive some color!
Before I get into this, let me start with a small look back. I love reading - so much that I basically made reading (and writing) my job. A long time ago, I thought that it was a great thing to finish books, even to force through books that I did not particularly enjoy or liked. And I made myself feel bad if I didn't finish a book. I thought that if I finished books it would somehow be of value in and of itself. At some point, though, I realized that this thinking put barriers to my reading, since in order to minimize the "suffering" I only started reading books I was sufficiently likely to finish, or even re-read books I had liked before rather than starting a new one I was unsure about. Something in me always rebelled against this thinking, and at some point I decided to read only what I liked and not be feel "bad" when I put a book away after 20, 30 or 100 pages. Or to put it in Marie Kondo's words: if it doesn't spark joy, I say thank you and goodbye! Since then I started a LOT of books of which I finished maybe 10%. But those that I finished I really enjoyed.

Really looking forward to painting these two!
Fast forward to today and the same basically applies to my approach to miniature painting. I remember that in the beginning, I was very anxious to start only figures I was sufficiently likely to finish. But that quickly changed and I started a large number of projects, some of them I finished at some point - mainly those I painted as presents for friends or those I wanted to take to competitions/exhibitions. But a lot of them are still in some more or less advanced WiP status. Most are based and primed, others I started painting but for some reason I didn't feel like proceeding, or I lost interest in the mini, or I was just not in the mood for painting at all and when the mood came back, some other project was more interesting. I am sure that I will pick up some of those WiP projects at some time, but I am also sure that I will never finish some others, and that's fine. I enjoyed "playing" with them when I did, and if their time never comes, so be it.

Some 1/72 projects whose time has not yet come.
If I tried to come up with some kind of an explanation, I would say that it's because I particularly enjoy the conceptual aspect of our hobby. I have so many ideas for stories I want to tell in miniature, for vignettes and small dioramas I want to create, techniques I want to try and materials I want to use. And whenever I see a mini I like I usually have something in mind that I want build with it. Sometimes I even think that I like the idea of putting together a miniature, conceptualizing and building a base, and painting the mini, a slight bit more than actually doing it (here I am just a little kidding... ;-)). Another part of the issue is that sometimes, I just want to build bases, to play with different materials and compositions and do not want to paint. So, a lot of WIPs are just finished bases with fitting minis, both of which have never seen any paint other than primer from the rattle-can.

Two 1/72 guys on the flanks, a silvery Hasslefree lady in the back,
and my single most favorite 28mm mini of them all in the front.
Don't get me wrong. I realize that it's very important to finish stuff and that one shouldn't get lost in a myriad of projects - if one's job, livelihood or personal relationship depend on it. And even in the hobby world it is greatly rewarding to finish something. And: it's of course especially important to keep commitments made to others. However, for the hobby stuff I strictly do for myself, I enjoy the liberty to develop new ideas and to work on that project that calls me the most at that particular moment in time. This is my hobby, my spare time, my autonomy - which I value above all. And while, of course, it's nicer to show finished stuff to your friends than primed WiPs and one (usually) takes finished minis to competitions/exhibitions, a look into the WIP section of my miniature cabinet really sparks joy for me!

"Pile of Shame" - Not for me!
How do you approach this?
Do you have a lot of WiPs? Or do you only have one project at a time that you work through from start to finish? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

All best, D.


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